Comes despite companies settling lawsuit
In spite of the two companies settling a lawsuit over noise cancellation patents, Apple has gone ahead and removed Bose headphones and speakers from its online store, visitors note. Rumors surfaced a week ago that Apple was planning to remove Bose products from its stores. Why it would want to was uncertain, but one point of speculation was animosity because of the lawsuit.
Decision may be linked to Apple Watch
Apple may, in the near future, stop selling Fitbit products at its retail stores, sources claim. No explanation has been given, but it's speculated that the reason may be the Apple Watch, which is shipping early next year and will share similar functions, even if it's more expensive and not intended purely as a fitness device. So far, Apple doesn't appear to be taking action against any other fitness trackers, but Fitbit controls nearly 70 percent of that market.
Plan only pegged for 'the near future'
Authorized Apple service providers -- and presumably Apple itself -- will soon start servicing Beats speakers and headphones, according to a memo to providers obtained by a Greek website. The message states that "in the near future, Apple will be responsible for providing service" for Beats products. The company adds that it is now sending out contract addendums, and will publish articles explaining the exact processes for handling Beats gear.
Company increasing pace of US store openings as new products roll out
Apple has departed from its slower 1-2 new or revamped store openings per month for its US operations, and will launch its third and fourth US-based stores this month in Florida and New Hampshire, respectively, this week. Following on the heels of store openings in Marlborough, Massachusetts and Trumbull, Connecticut, the company will unveil its next store in Sarasota, Florida as part of the grand opening of a new, $315 million University Town Center mall on October 16. A new store in Manchester, New Hampshire will open on October 18.
Official announcement expected at Oct. 16th press event
A leaked internal memo from US pharmacy chain Walgreens suggests that Apple Pay will launch this Saturday, October 18. The memo asks store managers to prepare workers for questions from the public. It also suggests that people will "only need to tap their iPhone 6 to the upper portion of the pinpad" to make a purchase. In truth the technology is slightly more complex, requiring a person to have a digit on their Touch ID sensor, and Apple Pay pre-configured with the card(s) they intend to use.
Beats acquisition may be to blame
(Updated with references to Bose/Beats lawsuit) Apple is preparing to pull all of Bose's audio products from its stores, according to sources for MacRumors and MacNN. The MacRumors source says that the inventory change is due to start next week, and that workers will get instructions in the next few days. Commenting on the claim, the MacNN source suggests that it's likely true and "falls in line with a shelving reorganization for Christmas that we've already seen that's got nothing from Bose on it."
New York Amazon store claimed to act as mini warehouse for same-day deliveries
Amazon may be preparing to open its first physical retail store, reports claim, with an experimental store set to be unveiled in New York City. The online retailer is allegedly looking to open its first brick-and-mortar location on 34th Street in Manhattan, with the space expected to be turned into an Amazon pop-up store in time for the holiday shopping period.
Project years in development
Apple will finally open a long-awaited store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18, according to an official banner outside the shop. Efforts to build an Edinburgh outlet date back to at least 2010. Once a location on Princes Street was secured, the company then spent over a year in construction. This was followed by another nine-month delay as it worked to finalize the store's design.
Country's 15th location
[Updated with two American store openings] On Saturday at 10AM local time, Apple is opening a new Italian store in Marghera, near Venice, according to the company's website. The outlet will be based in the Nave de Vero shopping center, which has over 100 stores spanning several floors. Apple's usual black construction facade went up in the mall earlier this year.
HR promises more perks for retail staff
Apple's HR head, Denise Young Smith, has issued a memo to workers illustrating new and expanded benefits the company is implementing. These include extended parental leave, education reimbursements for classes taken, an expanded donation-matching program, subsidized student loan refinancing, and full acceleration of stock in the case of a worker's death. The parental leave changes mean that American mothers with Apple can take up to four weeks prior to delivery, and up to 14 weeks after; their partners can take up to six weeks. While not radical, the upgrade makes Apple more competitive with other major Silicon Valley firms.
Jonathan Ive, Marc Newson among celebrities present
Today's Apple Watch event at Colette mostly involved units running on demo loop behind locked glass, visitors say. Members of the press are being allowed to wear the product, but even then, the hardware is still running on loop. Apple is also declining to provide any more information on specifications, pricing, or a launch date.
Could involve public hands-on
Apple and a Parisian fashion boutique, Colette, are planning a "one day only experience" on September 30, according to the latter's website. The event will run from 11AM to 7PM local time at Colette's storefront on Rue Saint-Honoré. Although neither company has said so explicitly, it appears to involve the Apple Watch, since Apple has adopted a fashion angle to marketing the product and the logo for the event resembles the Watch's homescreen.
Flagship Microsoft Store several blocks away from iconic Apple Cube store
Microsoft will be launching its first flagship retail location in Manhattan, a few blocks away from Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue glass cube store. The software giant has confirmed its Microsoft Store will be taking the place of a Fendi shop located at 677 Fifth Avenue, with executives claiming the store has already been five years in the making.
China still not on list due to regulatory morass; grey market thriving
While buyers in China impatiently wait for their government to move the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a complicated regulatory process that prevented the new smartphones from being in the first wave of countries offering it, Apple is moving ahead with its expansion of retail sales to another 22 countries beginning today. The US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK saw long lineups and record demand on September 19, a phenomenon that is likely to be repeated.
Administrators refer Phones 4U customers to credit card companies
Customers of UK retailer Phones 4U may not receive a refund for their pre-ordered iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. PWC, the administrators of the failed retail chain, has effectively reversed an earlier decision to allow for refunds to proceed, with affected customers now extremely unlikely to receive a refund directly from the company at all.
Approximately 900 jobs to be saved by store sale
More stores from failed British mobile phone retailer Phones 4U are being scooped up for use by a second carrier, with shops to be rebranded and reopened in a short space of time. EE, operator of Orange and T-Mobile in the country, has signed a deal with administrators to acquire 58 of the stores from the company, pending court approval, and in the process attempt to keep on 359 affected employees at the locations.
Rebranding of 140 Phones 4U stores to Vodafone expected in coming weeks
European carrier Vodafone is going to attempt to help some of the employees affected by UK retailer Phones 4U's administration proceedings. The mobile phone network will step in and acquire 140 of the chain's stores across the country, and in the process take on approximately 900 of the affected 5,596 staff at the saved locations.
Apple executives drum up publicity for iPhone 6 launch
For today's iPhone 6 launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook made an appearance at the Palo Alto Apple Store, while retail head Angela Ahrendts helped launch the phone in Sydney, Australia -- one of the first places in the world to get the device. Cook is said to have taken selfie photos with the crowd, and joked that he'd gotten the phone several months ago. Ahrendts was spotted talking with Apple Store clerks.
iPhones 'still made in sweatshops,' group says
The launch of the iPhone 6 at Apple's Hong Kong store has been tumultuous, accounts say. Police were brought in to disperse people waiting in line without reservations, and a regional activist group -- Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, or SACOM -- took advantage of the event to protest what it says are ongoing abuses by Apple suppliers. The group unfurled a large banner over the store reading "iSlave 6, Harsher than harsher, Still made in sweatshops," and published a new document about a nearly year-long investigation into one of Apple's most important suppliers, Pegatron.
T-Mobile carrier outlets without any Plus units
While other Apple Stores saw large lines for this morning's iPhone 6 launch, the Fifth Avenue outlet in New York City saw a lineup stretching 12 city blocks, according to Business Insider. By 6AM, it had extended from 59th and 5th to 71st and 5th, despite overnight temperatures dropping to about 54F. To deal with the wait and the weather, people brought chairs, coats, and blankets.
16GB models may be completely absent
People trying to buy an iPhone 6 Plus at a third-party retailer tomorrow may be out of luck, sources at carrier stores and Apple's retail partners say. Although outlets are said to be receiving shipments all day today, only two to three percent of iPhone 6 units are said to be the Plus, and even then only in one color. There's almost "no chance" of finding a Plus on Friday, the people claim, adding that the 16GB version will be absent entirely. The regular iPhone 6 should be available in all colors and storage capacities, if in varying degrees.
Puts jobs of 5,596 people at risk
UK retailer Phones 4U has gone into administration -- the UK equivalent of bankruptcy protection -- following a decision by network operator EE not to renew a contract ending in September 2015. The company now lacks any network partners, as earlier this month Vodafone said it would skip extending its own contract. All of Phones 4U's 550 stores are shut today, and will only reopen if and when administrators decide business can resume. The situation could endanger the jobs of some 5,596 workers.
Retailers choose platform-agnostic option
Two major US retailers -- Best Buy and Walmart -- have announced that they will not support Apple Pay, according to the Wall Street Journal. The companies are instead said to be backing a payment service operated by Merchant Customer Exchange. The MCX technology requires only an app download, and is platform-agnostic, supporting older iPhones as well as Android devices. Apple Pay will be restricted to the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and Apple Watch.
Store to return at midnight for flood of expected early adopters
[Update: Pre-orders have begun] The familiar "We'll be back" sign has appeared on the US and other countries' online Apple Stores in advance of the expected 12AM PT Friday opening for pre-orders on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Customers in Australia, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Puerto Rico and of course the US can pre-order the devices, which will appear at retail September 19.
Catch: pricing available on 16GB models only, Sam's Club prices $2 cheaper
Walmart, as is its custom, is planning to offer the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at a slight discount from other merchants. The company is reported to be taking $20 off the standard price, lowering the cost to $179 for a base model iPhone 6, or $279 for a base-model iPhone 6 Plus (both with new two-year contract). Those who pre-order from Walmart starting tomorrow will also get a $15 e-gift card.
Company may be forced to liquidate if relief not found
Following a 10th-straight quarterly loss, electronics retailer Radio Shack noted that it may need to file for bankruptcy protections. The company, with its stock in danger of New York Stock Exchange delisting, is also reportedly evaluating other options for the future, including an outright sale, or a call for investors to boost cash stocks to survive until the generally lucrative holiday season.
Includes Apple, major carriers
[Updated with in-store pickup news] In the US, online preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will begin at 12:01AM Pacific time Friday morning. While Apple has yet to announce an exact hour, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon all have, and traditionally Apple has opened up preorders at the same time. Other vendors, like T-Mobile, are referencing a broad September 12 window.
Switch from paper to digital
For the launch of the iPhone 6 on September 19, Apple Stores will use a new system called Reservation Pass, a report says. During past Apple product launches, people in line have typically been given paper cards specifying the particular model they asked for. This let stores keep rough track of inventory, while ensuring that people wouldn't waste their time if a model happened to be sold out.
New iPhone pricing not yet revealed, may foreshadow revised China ship date
Apple's homepage for India has revealed that the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are to debut in the country on October 17, nearly a month after the US and first-wave countries' debut. The US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Puerto Rico will all get the iPhone on the first day of retail availability, September 19. China was to have been a part of that first wave, but the iPhone has been delayed there due to foot-dragging by regulatory agencies.
Follows Verizon offer for free iPhone 6 with recent iPhone trade-in
With nine days to go before the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, retailers are beginning to bring out offers to entice current smartphone owners to cash in or trade in their current device for a discount on the cost of the latest iPhone. Following previous reports of cash-in services locking in prices and giving sellers a month to send in their phones, and Verizon offering free (base model) iPhone 6 units to those trading in a working iPhone 4 or later, Radio Shack is offering both a trade-in and gift card incentive program.
Uses NFC technology, Touch ID, Secure Element
Apple today announced Apple Pay, its long-awaited mobile payment system. The technology relies on a mix of Passbook, Touch ID, and new NFC and "Secure Element" hardware in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Users can add credit cards from their iTunes account, or take a photo of one and verify it with the bank. A credit card number isn't stored on a phone or shared, and transactions are tokenized, as was rumored. Should a phone be stolen, Find My iPhone can be used to disable purchasing functions, eliminating the need to cancel cards. Cashiers don't see any of the transaction data.
Apple Stores, McDonalds also said to be receiving upgraded beacons, NFC terminals
Ahead of an expected announcement of an Apple-led mobile payments solution, there have been new reports that prominent retailers such as Disney Stores, McDonald's and Apple's own retail stores have joined the ranks of businesses receiving new, upgraded NFC readers and iBeacon sensors as required. The system, if successful, could offer a future alternative to the planned move to a "chip and PIN" credit- and debit-card system already widely in use in Canada and Europe.
Apple Stores, other locations already equipped for NFC
Apple's NFC-based mobile payments system will use tokenization, sources claim. The technology involves substituting debit and credit card numbers with complex, one-time codes. In theory, this ensures that even if transaction data is intercepted, it can't be used again. Tokens also have potential beyond payments, extending to areas like transit passes or physical security.
Could be harbinger of expansion to other countries
AppleCare+ plans should be on sale in Australia in the next few weeks, a source says. Apple Store workers are expected to start sales training within days. Unlike regular AppleCare plans, AppleCare+ options include reduced fees for fixing accidental damage to iPhones and iPads. It's not clear what those fees might be in Australia, nor what the overall plans will cost.
Some early campers promoting businesses
People are already lining up at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York City in preparation for the launch of the iPhone 6, notes CNBC. Two of them, Brian Ceballo and Joseph Cruz, are said to have arrived on August 31 in an attempt to beat a previous 18-day camp-out record by one day. Continuing a trend with other recent iPhone launches, Ceballo and Cruz are promoting a company, BuyBackWorld. They in turn were paid $2,500 by two other people -- Jason and Moon Ray -- to give up their positions at the head of the line. The Rays are promoting a VideoMedicine app that lets patients communicate with doctors.
City's third Apple outlet
Apple has announced plans to launch a new US store this Saturday, this time in Atlanta, Georgia's Cumberland Mall. The shop will open at 10AM that day, and in keeping with regular hours, operate until 9PM. The only exception is on Sundays, when hours will span noon to 6PM.
Protest accommodated until doors to store blocked
A group of corporate and retail security guards for Apple stores staged a peaceful protest of what they consider to be low pay relative to other employees at the company's flagship San Francisco store on Thursday. The issue the guards were drawing attention to is not one specific to Apple, but endemic among tech firms in Silicon Valley -- who collectively tend to pay cleaning, support, maintenance and security staff lower wages on average than regular employees.
Architecture partly designed by Steve Jobs
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.
Verizon, T-Mobile upgrade support only being piloted at retail
Apple's US online store is now offering iPhone shoppers the chance to purchase a device via an AT&T Next upgrade plan, instead of just choosing a two-year contract or going unlocked. Previously, people on a Next plan had to upgrade through AT&T itself. Apple's site provides a chart illustrating the differences between the 12- and 18-month Next plans and going with a regular contract.
T-Mobile will discount some models of iPhone by $50 off full price
Starting on Wednesday, T-Mobile will offer a discount of up to $50 off the full price of all iPhones, according to a leaked internal memo. The offer will not affect subsidized iPhones, but applies to "device only" (no contract) sales. The discount will vary depending on the model and capacity, notes TmoNews, and is likely a reaction to recent price-cutting of contract phones by retailers like Walmart, which has dropped the price of the iPhone 5c to 97 cents and the iPhone 5s to $79 with a two-year contract.
'Backoff' malware has infected 1,000 businesses across US
Target isn't the only US retailer affected by the "Backoff" point of sale malware. Following forensic analysis of the intrusion software, researchers for US government law enforcement have claimed that more than 1,000 businesses have been infected by the same strain that assaulted the big-box retailer, and now UPS storefronts.
Empty stocks linked to $25 iTunes cards
The Apple TV is showing as "unavailable for pickup" at many Apple Stores across the US, including the most high-profile ones in California, Texas, and New York. The absent stocks are reportedly being blamed on the ongoing $25 iTunes card bundle. Sales may also be influenced by a recent Lollapalooza livestream, and Apple's forthcoming coverage of iTunes Festival London.
Dubai picked as location
The upcoming United Arab Emirates Apple Store will be the "biggest Apple has ever built," according to men's luxury magazine Edgar, citing an anonymous source. The person also says that Apple has picked Dubai's Mall of the Emirates as the site for the shop, and that it was originally planned to replace a current cinema complex. Based on the timing of Apple's job listings, it's thought that the store could open in the first quarter of next year. Currently, there are no Apple Stores anywhere in the Middle East.
First-gen iPad minis on clearance in anticipation of new models
Target stores in the US and its online store are now offering first-generation iPad minis at clearance prices, selling the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model for $199 -- a price that is lower or equal to most competing (but smaller) seven-inch tablets, such as the Kindle HDX or Google's Nexus 7. The price is $100 lower than the normal retail price in all configurations, and $20 below Apple's own price for its refurbished model. The sale also offers $50 off the price of the iPad Air in all configurations. The promotion is good for "this week only," and is based on limited amounts of stock, according to the Target website.
Exact location still a mystery
Apple has posted job listings for its first store in the United Arab Emirates, reports note. The company is hiring for every level of retail position, and also makes references to the Apple Store Leader Program, a 24-month initiative aimed at people that have just graduated from college or university. At the moment there are no Apple Stores anywhere in the Middle East.
New stats may be attempt to sway local governments
Apple has posted a new promotional page, touting the company's alleged benefits to the European economy. It claims to have "created or supported" 629,000 jobs on the continent, with over 500,000 of those being linked to the "app economy." Of the over $20 billion it has paid out to developers, about $6.5 billion is said to have gone to European outfits. Among Apple's 280,500 registered developers, 52,000 are in Germany alone, and 30,000 are in France. The local iOS app economy is said to have about 20,000 open positions.
Will feature 360-degree Genius Bar
Apple is set to open its third Dutch Apple Store on Saturday, August 9th at 10AM local time, according to an official store listing. Located at Passage 39 in the Hague, the shop will have most of Apple's regular design features, with the notable distinction of a 360-degree Genius Bar. Most Apple Stores use a counter arrangement for technical support.
Phones must be examined before replacements are authorized
(Updated with European news) As predicted, Apple Stores have officially begun replacing iPhone 5s screens. Accounts indicate that the procedure can take as little as an hour, and is rolling out across the US, although it may not be available at every location. Previously, if an Apple Store didn't replace a phone outright it would ship the unit out for service, something that could take several days.
Could be ready in time for fall product launches
Even though Turkey's first-ever Apple Store opened in Istanbul's Zorlu Center just this April, a second Istanbul outlet is already in the works, according to a local report. The shop will be based in the Akasya Shopping Center. Photos show that the Apple logo and glass facade are already in place, and that construction workers are already installing tables.
Says first 90 days with the company 'amazing,' praises retail workers
Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Dame Angela Ahrendts dropped by the Grand Central Station Apple Store this afternoon to talk with workers and learn more about the operation there. She is continuing a tour of flagship stores, having previously been seen at the grand opening of the Omotesando store in Japan and other locations. Ahrendts also released a memo with a Q&A section talking about her vision and her early experiences as head of retail.